Behind the scenes with Pooky's stylist

Our natty in-house stylist and designer Sophie Amini has brought her expert eye to the Pooky brand from the very beginning. So we thought we'd pin her down and see if she could cast some light on what she thinks makes Pooky different, the inspiration behind some key pieces......and which Pooky products she'll be welcoming into her own home.

So Sophie - what excites you about lighting?

There are so many things that all contribute to the sensation of a room - but for me, it's lighting that has the special fairy dust properties that can change everything. You walk into a room in the daylight and a beautiful shade will work alongside everything else to create the look. And then when the night-time comes, the same light can speak in a totally different language and transform its surroundings, ushering in a whole new sensation.

Aurora table lamp in orange £70, Empire shade in Orange Ikat £60 How would you describe Pooky?

We want to bridge the gap that exists between lamps that are unusual and lamps that are accessible. Pooky is a little bit quirky and colourful, as well as being practical and affordable. We want our lights to feel like unique pieces, that you could have found in an antiques fair, but without the hassle of finding and rewiring an old lamp. We've assembled a mix of designs that are fun and a bit different, alongside simple, well-crafted classics as well. We're not way out there on the weird and wonderful spectrum but Pooky wants to make it easy for our customers to find lights with character that will stand out in their homes. “Pooky wants to make it easy for our customers to find lamps with character that will stand out in their homes

Where did you find inspiration for the collection?

I do a lot of trawling for antiques at brocantes and flea markets. I get a lot of inspiration by travelling, visiting antique shops, auctions and interesting houses whenever I can - fortunately, I have a long-suffering family! For the fabrics I spent a week in Istanbul getting myself lost in a grand bazaar, where I bought bundles of different Ikats. And I also travelled into tiny villages in India on the trail of beautiful and traditionally printed cottons and cards.

Pooky Bobboli Console Table Lamp in Blue £100, Empire Shade in Yellow Silk Ikat £72

What makes Pooky different?

If you go to a high-street lighting store, you will generally find that the bases will be sold with a specific shade and are usually quite basic and neutral. We think shades can shout a bit louder than that and matching your own shade and base gives you the opportunity to make the lamp into far more of a feature, create something unique and add a bit of colour. I’ve always made my own lampshades using vintage fabrics, and I felt there was a lot of potential for prettier, more unusual shades that you can’t find on the high street. We hope to appeal to people who want to create something more unique - and lovable. “Matching your own shade and base gives you the opportunity to create something unique”

Tell us about the textiles and prints Pooky uses.

We’ve tried to have our feet in a number of different camps. So we’ve got a very neutral range - raw linens and silks - which would suit someone looking for a very simple, classic look. But if you want a one-off, quirky lamp that would be a feature we’ve got textiles for that too. Our Ikat prints are all made in Uzbekistan on old looms and offer the more traditional Ikat patterns alongside some very contemporary oranges, yellows and blacks. And then the hand block-printed card and cotton offers another look - the product of an ancient art-form with some updated patterns unique to Pooky. 

Have you got a favourite piece from the collection?

The brasswork on our range of metal lamps is sensational but right now, I've slightly fallen for our range of resin bases. They look brilliant. They're bright, they're fun, they light up well and you can mess around with dozens of shades to suit your look. I have quite a lot of the prototypes at home that didn’t make the grade because they’re too off the wall (maybe we'll introduce them sometime in the future)! Resin has a lovely, luminous, glass-like quality, and resin bases are a real talking point. They look very smart with just a black shade. But if you put an orange resin with an orange Ikat, for example, it looks amazing.